The Indian women’s magazine Vagabomb isn’t impressed with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board . And rightly so.
Earlier in June this year, several women moved court to abolish the Islamic practices of triple talaq, nikah halala, and polygamy. Of course, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board reacted in a way that completely suits their draconian points of view, and filed an affidavit on Friday, telling the Supreme Court that they cannot interfere with religious freedom, because “Personal laws of a community cannot be re-written in the name of social reform.”
The affidavit is a lesson in misogyny, with the Board telling the Supreme Court that they cannot outlaw triple talaq, polygamy, or nikah halala, because these laws are the religious and cultural rights of Muslims, and trying to rewrite these laws would violate their fundamental rights.
Of course, it doesn’t matter that the only fundamental rights these laws protect are those of men, with women being subjected to these unfair laws time and time again.
The Board has said:
“In cases where serious discord develops between the parties and the husband wants to get rid of the wife, legal compulsions of time consuming separation proceedings and the high expenses of such a procedure may deter him from adopting such a course and in extreme cases he may resort to illegal criminal ways of getting rid of her by murdering her. In such cases, triple talaq, is a better recourse in comparison to these illegal ventures.”
So triple talaq should be kept in place because otherwise men would commit murder. The lack of logic in that statement is astounding.
The Board also believes that a court proceeding will bring “weaknesses of the opposite party” out into the public. The Board actually says that certain “moral failings are considered more scandalous for women in our society,” actually revealing just how sexist and backward they are. So if a man is loose and has a temper, it will “damage only a little of his prospects of remarriage,” while for a woman, it will completely ruin her chances at marrying again.
(the) Board actually went ahead and said that men “have greater power of decision making.” This, according to the Board is why Sharia law gives men the right to pronounce talaq, since “they are more likely to control emotions and not to take a hasty decision.”
“Polygamy ensures sexual purity and chastity. Whenever polygamy has been banned, it emerges from history that illicit sex has raised its head.” So the Board is actually telling men who want to commit adultery to simply marry the other woman, and then sleep with her. Maybe teach the men to not commit adultery, instead of giving them a religious sanction to commit said adultery.
“If a woman is chronically ill or if her husband is bent upon taking a second wife because of her barrenness, or any valid or flimsy ground, and if the option of polygamy is not available to him, he will either divorce her which is something reprehensible, or he may indulge in illicit polygamy. An unlawful mistress is more harmful for social fabric than a lawful second wife, for the former blackmails him. In all the above instances, polygamy is a blessing, not a curse for women.”
“where women outnumber men and polygamy is not permitted, women will be forced into leading a spinster’s life. In sum, polygamy is not for gratifying men’s lust; it is a social need.”
So basically, the Board does not expect men to have any respect for marital values.
Could someone send a memo to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to tell them that it’s 2016, and literally none of their archaic views make sense?